"We're still at war, Plissken. We need him alive."

"I don't give a fuck about your war... or your president."

Posts Tagged ‘Tong Lung’

Red Scorpion 2

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Having wrapped up my series on the action movies of summer ’89, I’ve been enjoying the freedom to dart around to different topics that catch my interest. But I realize there’s a little bit of unfinished business to get out of the way. There were two movies I reviewed in The Last Summer of ’80s Action that spawned not-even-on-DVD-in-the-U.S. sequels five years later. There’s nothing hugely special about either of these part 2s, but you know how I am. I had to see them. And the one that follows series-opener RED SCORPION seems like a good epilogue or postscript, because it really signals a change in world politics.

Remember how RED SCORPION part 1 was produced with the cooperation of the racist regime in South Africa? The sequel is having none of that. In fact it explicitly casts racists as the bad guys. GOP lobbyists Jack and Robert Abramoff are still credited as executive producers, but the movie strays far from their original mission of making conservative arguments in genre movies. The villains are even described in expository dialogue as “ultra right wing.” (read the rest of this shit…)

Game of Death II

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

tn_godiibruceleeiconGAME OF DEATH II is a weird proposition. How the hell do you make a sequel to Bruce Lee’s unfinished final movie and pretend he’s still the star? It’s like if they tried to figure out how to keep Paul Walker in FURIOUS 8. It’s a little different because some of the best fights Lee ever shot were for GAME OF DEATH and they didn’t bother to use all the footage in the first one. But I guess they thought it would be cheating to use that stuff. Instead they took a bunch of his closeups from ENTER THE DRAGON and cut them into scenes of a lookalike always shown either from the back or at a distance. Lee’s character Billy Lo is worried about his brother being too into sex and not enough into practicing kung fu. He finds his kama sutra and leaves him a letter and a Jeet Kun Do manual to counter its harmful influence.

Also Billy talks to his master, who tells stories about his youth, illustrated with clips from Chinese movies Lee made at 6 and 15. Instead of letting you figure it out (like Soderbergh using clips from POOR COW as flashbacks in THE LIMEY) they use onscreen text to tell you, breaking any illusion that this is the character Billy Lo, famous movie star who faked his death. In the younger one he’s picking on an old man, headbutting him in the gut, pointing a gun at him and saying he’s gonna kill him. Weird. (read the rest of this shit…)